In an age when campaigns and brands are being launched at a rapid rate like never before, it is very hard to tell which ones will actually last and leave a mark to customers. Whether online or offline, the challenge for brands today is to go beyond brand awareness and instead, embed an indelible emotional connection with their customers. One surefire way to do this is through an engaging live experience that will compel customers to share and spread the word online.
With the right approach, live brand experiences through events, workshops, festivals, fairs or expos can bring your brand personality to life and help convert customers to loyal brand evangelists online. Here are tried-and-tested secrets that can help you mount a successful and share-worthy event through social media.
Before the Event
1. Develop Your Key Message and Hashtag
Developing a concept is fun and easy especially now that there are a plethora of inspirations you can giddy on online. But what many fail to realize is that before executing concepts, you need to have a key message to weave all your ideas on. Your key message should reflect your brand personality and marketing goals.
You can also communicate your key message through an event hashtag. Your hashtag should be short, catchy and brand-relevant. It should also be original enough so you will have consistent search results online.
2. Amplify Your Reach through Your Guest List
Because of the multitude of ways to share online, an event’s reach is no longer limited to your present guests.
Apart from encouraging your participants to share the event online, you can also amplify your event’s reach by inviting key influencers, online media publications or online partners who can help you spread the word pre- and post-event. Although these group of people will require more attention than your regular guests, the reach they can bring to your brand will surely be worth the effort.
3. Pre-event Boosters
Regularly posting registration updates, countdowns and special guests reveal can help you pump up your promotions and attendance list prior the event. You can also set the energy and build excitement for your event by posting behind-the-scenes preparation, giveaways, and snippets of what’s going to happen in the event. Ideally, you should start posting about the event at least two to three months prior.
During the Event
4. Set Up Visual Displays and IG-worthy Spots
Make every element of your event visually enticing to encourage your audience to share photos and content online. As much as possible, ensure that all elements will be cohesive and relevant to your brand. You can come up with post-worthy product displays, exhibits and a dedicated spot where your participants can style and snap products. An interactive backdrop with good lighting for photos and selfies is also an irresistible opportunity your attendees will surely not miss.
5. Create a Multisensory Experience
In live events, you have the power to trigger emotions that traditional advertising or digital approaches cannot. This can be done by allowing your audiences to touch, taste, smell, hear and see elements relevant to your brand. Incorporating interactive product trials, hands-on activities or ambient music can go a long way in achieving a total experience your participants will most likely document and share online.
6. Brand Key Elements with Logos and Hashtags
It’s smart to brand every key element in your events to ensure the majority of the photos, videos or content shared online will have your brand and hashtag on it. Apart from branding the usual collateral such as posters and invites, you can go as far as branding your table centerpieces, welcome banners or even venue directionals. Having your hashtag visually present everywhere encourages your attendees to post not just one but a series of photos throughout.
7. Give Strategic Gifts
Giveaways can serve as another strategy for your attendees to share about your brand online. Useful gifts such as samples of your product or service coupons, if personalized and packaged nicely, can give you extra mileage. A nice idea would be tucking in a ‘Social Media Guide Cards’ where you can indicate your hashtag and social media accounts. This makes it easier for your attendees to tag and promote your brand online.
8. Document Like a Pro
Documentation is sacred in every event. If you can hire a professional photographer and videographer to document your event, then do so by all means. This will allow you to have a pool of nice photos and videos you can post and share online during and after the event. If you cannot hire professionals, just make sure you assign someone skilled enough who will do just that throughout the event so you won’t miss out on important moments or highlights.
9. Featured People
Seeing faces and human interactions online make your event authentic and relatable rather than just posting event set ups and decors. Don’t forget to feature your hosts, speakers, and attendees in online posts so you can tag them on social media. This will surely maximize your event reach and spark interest among their social connections and sphere of influence. Just be reminded to carefully select the people you associate your brand with. These people should at least share the same values that your brand stands for.
10. Go Live
Station a rolling digital camera in one strategic spot and you’re on your way to broadcasting live for anywhere around the globe. Live streaming, live tweets, and Facebook updates serve several purposes of engaging more people online while your event is ongoing. Live streaming can start conversations and draw an instant following from your attendees and even non-attendees.
11. Ensure Internet Access
Not all event venues are equipped with internet connection so it is highly advisable that you ensure this prior the event.Having internet access all throughout the event will enable you to share updates real-time and not miss out anything. This will also allow your attendees who like to share about your event to connect online without any hassle.
After the Event
12. Post-event Stories
The hype of your event should not stop once the event is over. Find ways to make your post-event promotions as dynamic and creative as your pre-event promotions. You can consider developing some time-lapse videos, same-day-edit or testimonials of people who attended the event. A post-event promo for all your attendees can also help continue the momentum. You can post this on your own pages and tag and share to as many channels and people in your event as possible.
Creating a total brand experience that is meaningful and engaging to your audience is of ultimate importance because there is no point executing grand ideas if your attendees will not be compelled to share the experience with others. By providing them useful ways and avenues to share these experiences, you are sure to achieve the best amplification results possible for your event.